What is Eleven Ventures?
Eleven Ventures is a Sofia based early stage VC with a focus on high-growth projects, mostly coming from Central and Eastern Europe.
May I arrange a meeting with the team of Eleven to discuss my idea?
Whilst we would love to meet everyone who is thinking of applying to Eleven, we receive a significant number of requests and this is not always possible. We attend many events. Look us up and track us down. We also have an extensive network of founders, mentors and scouts, which is your best way to learn more about what we do and get an intro to us.
Do I need to speak English to enter the program?
We are looking for smart ideas and great teams that have the potential to become global leaders. In order to take full advantage of the resources we provide, participants should be able to communicate in English – mentors, speakers and teams are oftentimes from abroad, so you should be able to understand them and be able to communicate in turn
How much do you invest?
We invest from zero to EUR 1m. We prefer a staged approach, where we invest in increments, as projects de-risk each stage of development. Our first round could be anywhere from 25,000 Euro to 200,000 Euro, based on the stage of each project.
What do you get from this?
In exchange for our investment, we become a minority shareholder in each company getting anywhere between 6% and 25% equity for fully funded companies.
What is the application process for Eleven?
We have an ongoing application online. You’d be asked to fill-in a short questionnaire about your team, market and project. We will review monthly all finalized applications and short-list the best projects for interview. The top teams are invited to our Selection Days, where they first meet with founders from other Eleven funded companies and then pitch their ideas to the Investment Committee. By the end of Selection Days we’d extend an offer, including how much are we willing to invest and in exchange for what stake in the company.
Do I need a business plan to apply?
No, you don’t, but if you have an adequate investment deck, it could help you during the selection process with us. We make our decisions based on the application form and personal interviews.
Do you only fund teams and projects from Bulgaria?
No, anyone from anywhere can apply. However, teams may be asked to register a legal entity in Bulgaria, in order to receive the funding from Eleven, and relocate to Sofia for such time, as needed to figure where to move next. Going home shortly after investment does not work for us.
Would you fund an idea that only targets the local market, but is very good and can be very profitable?
We are looking for great ideas that have early traction or proof of concept, and at the end of the funding we provide can either become cashflow positive and/or attract additional funding. As a general rule, we believe the most successful ideas will be easily scalable and can target global markets.
Would you fund a non-IT idea?
Yes, we are looking for ideas that can greatly benefit from the resources we provide (funding, learning, networking and coaching). We are not limiting our investments to ICT, so if you believe your project is scalable and has real potential, go for it.
Could a not-for-profit project apply?
Sorry, no. We are dedicated to making the world a better place, just as NGOs are, but we are doing it by solving problems and ideally generating money from that. We are eager to work with and support for-profit social ventures.
If I don’t have a team, can I still apply?
We are looking to invest in projects that have early traction or proof of concept. If you got there alone – great! We will not automatically discard single-founder projects, but without a team, chances of getting an investment decrease dramatically. We strongly encourage you to seek co-founders to balance your skill-set and apply as a fully-fledged team.
Can the team work on other projects as well?
No. We want the teams we fund to be passionate, focused and committed to what they are doing.
What can we use the money for?
It’s entirely up to your discretion and best judgement, but we expect to see a projected use of funds before we take an investment decision and we will keep track on the actual costs as we go. We believe at this stage money should be primarily used to supplement your team, and run marketing and distribution experiments so as to find your repeatable growth mechanics.
Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won’t steal my idea?
No, we won’t sign an NDA. No early stage investor would. You can take our word that we’re certainly not in the business of stealing ideas, as this would certainly damage our reputation irreparably.
Can I be a mentor? What are the criteria for mentor selection?
A mentor who can share his/her experience and say ‘when I was in that situation I did this and it didn’t work’ or ‘I did this and it worked’ is worth more than money. Anyone that feels the above is true for himself/herself can jump in and become a mentor. To be clear, mentorship at Eleven is on a strictly volunteer basis, mentors are not compensated financially for participation.